The Formation of Ion Acoustic Shocks.
CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES PLASMA PHYSICS GROUP
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Recent experiments performed in the UCLA double plasma DP device have verified the existence of electrostatic ion acoustic laminar shocks. These shocks were first predicted theoretically by Moiseev and Sagdeev from the cold ion-Boltzmann electron steady state fluid equations. In order to obtain a shock-like transition rather than solitons, Moiseev and Sagdeev argued that a small number of reflected ions was required. Montgomery and Joyce later showed that shock-like transitions were also possible if a distribution of electrons trapped in the shock potential was assumed. However, in the DP experiments there exists a third possibility for explaining the formation of laminar shocks, i.e., that the method of shock excitation, the piston, determines the resultant shock structure. In the paper the authors investigate the influence of the piston on the shock structure by modeling the DP device and by numerically solving the temporal and spatial evolution of the shock. Author
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics